There is a growing threat to people using bank ATMS. When using ATMs to get cash or even just to check your balance you need to do one important thing first before inserting your bank card. You need to check for a device called a “Skimmer”. The crooks use skimmers to steal your bank card information. Once they have this information they can steal money from your bank account with ease. Skimmer fraud is becoming more common as new 3D printing technology makes skimmers cheaper and easier to build.
What’s a Skimmer?:
A skimmer is a an electronic device that crooks put over or in replace of ATM and credit card entry slots. The skimmers are able to get your card number. To get your pin the crooks often set up a small camera or pin pad overlay. The cost of these systems on the black market $8,000 to $12,000 and can net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Skimmers are getting easier to make with the advent of 3D Printing.
How to Spot a Skimmer?:
The best way to check for a skimmer is to give the card slot reader a little tug. Every time you use an ATM you should give it a little tug. If the reader jiggles or feels loose you should avoid using that ATM and alert the bank. In the picture below you can see how well crooks disguise the skimmer, even one with the green anti-fraud reader.
How to Protect Yourself?:
- Give the card reader a tug. If it feels jiggly or loose do not use it.
- Always cover your hand when entering your pin code
- It’s better to use ATMS that are well lit or in the light of day. Crooks often use the cover of darkness to install and remove the skimmers
- If your suspect anything, if anything feels fishy, trust your gut and don’t use that ATM and instead find another location.
Please share this useful tip with your friends and family so they can avoid getting ripped off by crooks.
Also check out this tip on avoiding your PIN being stolen at stores.